Wow! What a difference.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WestKnollAmy, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    We started out with 70 some odd chicks, the same age and of 11 different breeds. We already had some adult hens so we put some of the chicks in with the hens because they had hatched out some eggs the same day these chicks arrived. We thought it would be funny to see a bantam Cochin raising a Jersey Giant and standard Cochins. [​IMG]
    And they are funny but the chicks with the adults were free ranged all day, cooped at night and had full access to the chick feed at all times while the other chicks were never allowed free range, only cooped and fed the same chick feed. The fully cooped chicks are much, much bigger and better feathered out, too![​IMG]
    Free range may be good for some things but it sure slowed the growth on the breeds of chicks from the same hatcheries. We now let everyone free range but the cooped chicks run back to the coop at the slightest little noise or bird that flies over. They are so much fun to watch.[​IMG]
     
  2. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    Interesting observation. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I wonder if the difference is due to the cooped chicks eating feed all day.
     
  4. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Well, that is what I was wondering.
    The cooped chicks only got the chick starter and had minimum amount of room. But the free ranging chicks had choices of bugs and greens as well as the starter. I suppose the ranging chicks ran off a lot more weight, possibly had more stress due to running around and watching the lead roo for directions and couldn't contain all the calories easily?
    Maybe the cooped chicks just laid around, did each others nails and ate without an iota of worry, except if I was going to be on time with the food bucket.
    I thought the free ranged chicks would have been happier and healthier but I finding out differently. They don't even have the high gloss to their feathers that the cooped ones have.[​IMG]
     
  5. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    If the free rangers are eating bugs and the like, they aren't eating as much feed, which is 'saturated' with nutrients. It'll be interesting to see who stays healthier. Lounging about sounds good until you start looking like Delta Burke. [​IMG]
     

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